UT Alumna Benita Fitzgerald Mosley to Speak at Fall Commencement

Benita Fitgerald MosleyKNOXVILLE – Olympic gold medalist and alumna Benita Fitzgerald Mosley will address graduates at the fall commencement ceremony for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, set for 9:00 a.m., Friday, December 9, in the Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena.

Undergraduate and graduate students who have completed degree programs during the summer or fall semesters will receive diplomas. Students being awarded post-graduate degrees will be honored in a graduate hooding ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8, in Thompson-Boling Arena. The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be webcast live at http://tinyurl.com/d682otu/.

Mosley, a 1984 graduate of the College of Engineering, also served as the keynote speaker for the fiftieth anniversary of African American undergraduates at UT in February.

“Commencement is a time of great celebration at UT and I am honored to have Benita as our speaker,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “She has achieved many exceptional goals in her life and career, and I look forward to her inspiring message to our students.”

Mosley currently serves as USA Track & Field’s (USATF) chief of sport performance. In this role, she oversees USATF’s high-performance and athlete development programs, Team USA management, elite athlete services, sport science and medicine, anti-doping, coaching education and certification, and national championship meet management.

She also is currently chair of the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is a former member of the advisory boards of iVillage and WE: Women’s Entertainment and the Project 30 Task Force for USA Track & Field.

Mosley was a record-breaking member of the Lady Vols track and field team in the early 1980s. During that time she was a gold medalist in the 1983 Pan American Games, an eight-time national champion, and a fourteen-time All-American.

She won a gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, making her just the second American woman and the first African American woman to accomplish this feat. She was a member of the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Teams and an alternate on the 1988 team.

Mosley was named Hurdler of the Decade for the 1980s by Track and Field News, Sportswoman of the Century by The Potomac News and Top Female Sports Figure of the Century from Virginia by Sports Illustrated.

Following her 1984 graduation, Mosley designed and developed software and hardware systems for Navy, Army, and Air Force defense contractors. In 1991, she became regional director for Special Olympics International in Washington, DC, and then served as program director for the marketing division of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games from 1993 to 1995.

In 1995, Mosley joined the US Olympic Committee holding several positions including director of Olympic Training Centers, director of the Olympic Training Center in San Diego, and director of all public relations programs. The following year, she was selected as one of eight US Olympians to carry the Olympic Flag into the stadium during the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

In 2001, Mosley joined Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), the oldest and largest organization serving women professionals in the cable industry, as president and CEO. Because of her achievements, Mosley was named Cable TV Executive of the Year by Television Week Magazine.

She has been inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, and the Penn Relays Hall of Fame. She is also a charter member of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols Hall of Fame. Mosley was recently honored as one of seventy-five former student-athletes chosen to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Southeastern Conference.

Mosley lives in Haymarket, Virginia, with her husband, Ron, and their two children.

Parking for commencement is available at any student parking area on campus. Parking for disabled persons is available in the Neyland Drive garage (G-10). For a campus parking map, visit http://www.utk.edu/maps/campus/.

For more information regarding the ceremony, call the registrar’s office at 865-974-2101 or visit http://registrar.tennessee.edu/.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008, bgladden@utk.edu)

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